rivers ran red

4 stars

This is a well written and well researched historical fiction about the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, one of Attila the Huns last battle against the Roman army.

The Empire is weakened due to an inept emperor, Valentinian III. Atilla has laid waste to huge swaths of the Roman Empire. The Empire must make one final stand to defend itself. Avitus, one of the Empire’s greatest generals, convinces the Empire’s enemies to align with them to defeat Atilla. The battle lasts an entire day and as the smoke clears the next day, Atilla’s army is defeated and retreating.

The story is told from several different characters’ perspectives and provides a small glimpse into life in the Roman Empire between 410-454 AD. I liked the book, but at times I found the story a bit disjointed. The transitions between story lines and chapters was occasionally clunky. Some characters were introduced for one single purpose and then never heard from again. Other characters had short story lines that faded out and weren’t resolved. I also struggled to keep track of some of the characters because either their names were similar, or were difficult to decipher how to pronounce, but it was a minor distraction. Plus, there’s nothing that can be done about the names of real characters.

I like historical fiction books, but haven’t read any from this time period before. I found it very interesting and look forward to reading other books in this era.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.